As a writer, it is probably hard to comprehend how overwhelming these clichéd submissions actually are. You are one person, and you think, "oh, it'll be alright, surely there won't be any other subs like this." You would be surprised. You need to think, are you really going to be noticed writing about the sea breeze among an inbox full of 300-400 other subs?
Vine Leaves Literary Journal has been around for a year now. And the clichés (especially in poetry) that most frequently overwhelm us are:
- gardens/plants (pretty red poppies and bees and roses)
- sun/moon (shining on sand or water)
- beating hearts (oh boy how much I love you)
- quiet nights (as I caress your cheek as soft as a baby's bottom)
- gentle breezes (I close my eyes and feel your presence)
- oceans/beaches (my toes dig into the warm sand)
- weather/seasons (birds chirping in spring, heat waves rising off the road)
However, if you are sure that you have written about these things in a unique way, we're totally open to reading about them. But trust me, we will be extra critical.
For an example of one unique way to write about gardens, take a look at The History of Dirt, by Allie Marini Batts, from Issue #03. This WOWED us.
So next time, before you submit, think twice. Are you writing about a clichéd topic? If so, did you twist it into treasure?
What other clichés can you think of that you persistently see in writing? Or better still, what have you read that deals with a cliché in a unique way?
PS: Sadly, FABRIC didn't make it into the Goodreads Choice Awards ten finalists. But thank you to all of you who tried to help me get there with your votes! Your support is amazing. And I am still pleased that it was a semi-finalist. I guess that's no easy achievement in itself.